STEP 2 - THE ANSWER TO HISTORY STUDIES FOR AGES 7-8, AND FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE DEVELOPING LITERACY!
WHAT IS “STEP 2”?
STEP 2 is two years of secular, religion-friendly curriculum, designed for use by two kinds of students:
- Students ages 7-8|
- Students who are developing literacy.
IS STEP 2 FOR HOMESCHOOLING? OR THE CLASSROOM?
STEP 2 is independent study for homeschoolers, but works best when two or more students work (and play) together.
ARE STEPS 2 COURSES BOOKS? HOW DO I GET THEM?
STEPS courses come as PDFs, online downloads. When you purchase courses on our site, they are immediately sent to the email address you give us.
HOW DOES STEP 2 HISTORY WORK?
Like all STEPS studies, STEP 2 courses are broken into daily lesson plans. Each lesson plan is made up of small things to be done, in sequence. What is read is right there in the lesson plan, no guess work, “writing” by the teacher or student, or hunting for materials needed. The student does each step in the lesson plan, in order. Sometimes, the course shows students some art work, video, or photography – all found in sequence, in the lesson plan. And in every lesson plan, the student uses what has been taught and does things, sometimes in the form of games, but there are always activities. There are twelve Step 2 History courses, intended to be done three per semester, two semesters per year, for two years.
Over a period of two years, the duration of Step 2 studies, students develop improved reading and literacy skills. Each student moves at their own pace in developing literacy, as in all their studies. The student moves away during this step from a teacher-intensive approach to study, and increasingly becomes able to study independently.
Step 2 History is taught on the “time line”, in the order it occurred – FOUR TIMES during Step 2, one every semester, each time with a different emphasis. The first semester covers Big Ideas In History, such as religion, politics, economics and technology – as each one developed, in sequence. Semester 2 covers Leaders Great & Terrible, some 55 historic figures in the order they appear in and impact history. Semester 3 lays out 12 of the great civilizations in history, in the order they appeared. Semester 4 deals with the history of the arts, starting with music, then visual arts, and finally literature (as the student’s literacy will have improved to the point where he can DO this course at the end of his Step 2 studies).
Perhaps most importantly, the student is constantly required to evaluate for himself every event in history, to determine its value to the student. This demands of the student that he develops real Critical Thinking Skills, as well as making history studies relevant and timely
By the end of these history studies, the student who has done the work will have an understanding of history better than Middle School graduates, and better than most High School graduates today. And by the way, we’ve heard from several families, including a family with five students doing Step 2 History (their ages ranging from 8-17), that this level of history makes for fascinating family education and discussion! We’ve had many older students use Step 2 History with great success!
At this level, history courses focus on the key accomplishments and ideas found in history. Each idea is explained in language that is age-appropriate, providing the student some serious reading practice, a key component of our Elementary program. Then that idea is explored through activities, to help provide the young student with a hands-on idea of what each culture or leader created and added to the human experience. Important words are defined for the student as he studies. Every effort is made to develop literacy while teaching history.
Focused on ideas and creative invention rather than dates and names, this is conceptual history for the young, as is Starter. But the information offered in Elementary courses is more complex and detailed. The student learns what is important about our history, how it impacts our current world, even the student's life. Each semester consists of three courses, to be done three times weekly.
Each semester of Elementary History is focused on a specific idea.
Semester One is focused on important concepts in history, such as politics, finance, or technology.
Semester Two covers great and terrible leaders throughout history.
Semester Three deals with twelve of the most important civilizations in history.
Semester Four covers the history of the arts, and of great artists.
This design allows teachers and students to fill specific needs they feel are lacking in a student's study for the age group. That said, the reading requirements increase for each sequential semester, so it is best if these semesters be delivered in their given order if you are developing literacy. This level, by the way, has proved to be very effective for older students as well. The ideas presented are rich and creative enough to easily satisfy middle school (junior high) and even some high school students.
To find out more about this program, please take a look at the video that you'll find toward the top right of this page. Then take a look at the description and samples provided for each course.
CAN I PURCHASE INDIVIDUAL COURSES TO FILL NEEDS IN MY CHILD’S EDUCATION?
Yes. Each STEPS course is a free-standing, independent study. We provide courses in history, science, creative writing, literature studies, civics, educational basics like reading and spelling, current events, and the arts.
CAN I PURCHASE A FULL SEMESTER OF HISTORY FOR STEP 2, OR A YEAR'S WORTH?
Yes, as “bundles” on our site. Bundles are the least expensive way to purchase STEPS courses.
HOW QUICKLY COULD I START USING STEPS 2 HISTORY?
Start now. You can start STEPS at any time of the year, 24/7/365. Everything you need is pretty much included in the courses you will download, for STEP 2.
HOW MUCH DO I, THE TEACHER OR PARENT, NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HISTORY IN ORDER TO USE STEPS? HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO DO?
You (teacher/tutor/parent) do not need any expertise in subjects your student is studying, using STEPS. Not as a teacher, or in the subjects being taught. You do not need a degree, or experience as a teacher. Each course does the “teaching”. Just follow the lesson plans, and keep your eyes open for fun opportunities related to whatever the student is studying now. The course does the teaching – YOU, the teacher, “deliver” the course, one action at a time, lesson plan by lesson plan.
HOW QUICKLY CAN I MOVE MY STUDENT UP STEPS?
A student can move up at any time he has the literacy skills and maturity for the next level. The student does not need to “complete” a lower level of curriculum to move up. The student just needs to be able to successfully do the next higher level of curriculum as far as difficulty and literacy. With STEPS, a student is never “behind” or “ahead” – each student moves at the pace they’re comfortable with, every step in every lesson plan, every course, and every level.
SUCCESS STORIES ABOUT STEP 2 STUDIES!
Hello Mr. Horwich, my name is Alex Person and I am 9 years old. I have many lessons, but my favorite lessons are your history and science courses. I don’t just learn in them, I have a fun time doing the dos. I just did my history lesson on Da Vinci. I looked at modern tanks and how Da Vinci designed the earlier types. I also enjoyed studying change by burning paper and heating rocks in the oven. I think you explain all of the words very well in understand the words. For example, I can explain what categorization is, much better because of that section. The do’s help me learn how categorization helps scientists design machines. I would be surprised if your courses could get any better.
I hope your courses can help me in my dream to become an engineer. It’s very nice being a homeschooler. I study math through an online curriculum and when I don’t understand an idea, I can click on explain to read more about it. I’m also in a math class that meets once a week where I study pre-algebra with four other students. I like the teacher’s explanations and she has helped me understand math better. For example, the teacher has helped me to understand the least common multiple. As you know, I’m 9 years old and this class is for 14 year old students. Because I’m a homeschooler, I can advance through subjects much faster than public school students.
Thank you for being kind enough to make these great courses!
Sincerely, A.P., 9 year-old Homeschool Student
My son and I just completed Step 2 History 3 lesson 12, Understanding Life- Biology, Darwin, Theophrastus, Linnaes, and Vavilov. What struck me during the time my son and I read and understood the lesson was, the number of children being educated these days that study subjects, that seem to exist by themselves and that have little relevence to each other. It is no wonder why history, math or science is boring to most children. What my son and I just experienced was a vocabulary, geography, history and science lesson with a lab, all rolled into one! We learned what biology is, but we learned it in terms of the first scientists, and so we now know something about the passion they had for their subjects. Imagine being a scientist and guarding a seed vault from starving people in St Petersberg during a 900 day siege during WWII or as the Russian's call it, the great patriotic war. That is history and science coming alive! My son concluded his lesson by going outdoors, into the world to catalogue and record the life he found around the house. He didn't leave anything out. Alex is getting a REAL education, thanks to your insight and effort to produce the best curriculum available today.
Thanks R.P/, "Father of A."
I've been using this along with Elementary History - Leader I book with my 2nd grader for 2-3 months now. We love this curriculum because it's easy to understand, straight forward, age-appropriate and easy to use. All these without using a dumbed down text. My son's able to narrate and answer comprehension questions from me once he reads the lesson. He also likes the thought-provoking questions from the author, links to videos/pictures, simple hands-on activities and the ball-stick drawing. It makes the history lesson fun and painless.
Before STEPS we used literature-based approach in studying history. However, I found myself, even after the read aloud session, to sometimes have to re-explain the story or certain concept to my son because literature is ..ahem ... wordy. Plus, the books are often too detailed that the big picture is sometimes missed by the student.
With STEPS, between the reading and activities/questions, student (well, my son) grasps the story and concepts easily by themselves and with high retention. Talking about painless and effective learning here. My son was able to answer the test questions without even a review and he can relate what he learns in history when he encounters something in real life.
My son told me that he would like to continue with 1st Step for his third grade. D. D., Homeschool Mom